Big shifts in your blood sugar level can leave you feeling stressed and irritable. Fix that with this meal plan.
If your blood sugar spikes and dips are turning you into a ball of uncontrollable stress, this meal plan could help. Keeping your blood sugar level throughout the day can minimize stress-related cravings for sugar and carbs and help minimize spikes in cortisol, a stress hormone.
Low blood sugar is very common in the morning, and can lead to increased stress throughout the day. Especially if you had a lot of carbohydrates or sugar the night before, or if you skipped breakfast, your blood sugar will bottom out and leave you feeling slow and sluggish.
Start your day off with complex carbohydrates that have a low-glycemic index and can gradually raise your blood sugar to a stress-free level. Good choices include:
- Whole-grain toast
- Sweet potatoes
- Starchy vegetables
If you find yourself getting cranky after lunch, your blood sugar may be too high. Lunches high in refined carbohydrates are often to blame for this stressful spike. To help prevent this problem, have one serving of protein every 3 to 4 hours and with each meal. Protein is absorbed slowly and can help stabilize blood sugar levels.
Great protein-rich options include:
- 1 cup of Greek yogurt
- A hard-boiled egg
- 1 cup cooked quinoa
- 2 tablespoons of natural peanut butter
- 3 ounces of grilled chicken or turkey breast
Dinner is an important meal when it comes to leveling out your blood sugar dips and spikes, so make sure you incorporate all the tips above to set yourself up for a good night's sleep and a stress-free day the next day.
To make sure your blood sugar won't dive in the mornings, don't eat 2 to 3 hours before going to bed and avoid sugary foods in the evening. To prevent a nighttime stress spike, pack your dinner with protein and lots of veggies. If you need a sweet finish to your meal, pick a fiber-rich fruit like apples, apricots, bananas, blackberries or blueberries.